Jury chosen for rape trial

AN alleged Inglewood sex offender pleaded not guilty at the Warwick District Court yesterday to five charges that included three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 years old and two counts of rape.

The offences allegedly occurred on unknown dates between December 31, 2007 and October 9, 2008.

The man, who cannot be identified to protect the identities of the alleged victim and under-age witnesses, sat quietly in the dock as 12 jurors were selected from the Southern Downs community to view, listen and judge the pending evidence.

Twenty-one names were randomly pulled from the barrel and both the defence counsel and Crown Public Prosecutor made objections to six prospective jurors and three people were placed on standby. The final community representation for the pending trail falls upon seven women and five men.

Judge Leanne Clare SC stressed the importance of jury impartiality and explained the juror’s role of listening to the facts and evidence of the case.

“I asked you to closely listen to the names of the witnesses in case you know them,” Judge Clare said.

“Every member needs to be impartial... keep an open mind until the evidence is closed.”

The Crown Public Prosecutor said pre-recorded evidence from the alleged victim and other child witnesses would be heard, as well as evidence from doctors and police.

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